Dota 2: TSM continue to dominate North America with 2-1 win over EG

David "MoonMeander" Tan Boon Yang and the rest of Team SoloMid continue to be the dominant force in North American Dota after they defeated regional rivals Evil Geniuses for the fourth time in a row. (Photo: Team SoloMid)

Team SoloMid (TSM) faced off against regional rivals Evil Geniuses (EG) for a spot at the upcoming Stockholm Major in a pivotal match of the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Spring Tour regional league for North America on Sunday (17 April).

Both teams entered the match with a score of 5-0, with the victors getting in prime position to secure one of the two North American tickets to Stockholm.

The series went in favor of TSM, who took down their arch-rivals in a 2-1 thriller. This marked TSM's fourth victory over EG in a row, going back to the Winter Tour and twice at the Regional Finals.

Let's take a deep dive into how TSM prevailed over EG.

TSM outfight EG in game one

EG focused on securing their lanes in the opening match of the series.

The newly reworked Techies for Andreas Franck "Cr1t-" Nielsen was picked to secure the lane for Artour "Arteezy" Babaev’s Chaos Knight. This laning duo is mobile with a good mix of physical and magical damage, enough to bring down anyone TSM put in the lane.

Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko played the offlane Dragon Knight, another hero known for his stability in the laning stage. Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka supported Nightfall on Enchantress, a hero that peaks early in the laning stage. Lastly, Abed “Abed” Yusop was tasked with winning teamfights for his team on Invoker.

While EG focused on winning their lanes at the cost of a weak teamfight lineup, TSM went the opposite direction by sacrificing their lanes in favor of taking the game later on.

To that end, Jonathan Bryle "Bryle" Santos De Guia and Jonáš "SabeRLight-" Volek played Sand King and Tidehunter respectively, two heroes with strong area-of-effect stuns and a good mix of damage output.

The support duo of David "MoonMeander" Tan Boon Yang and Kim "DuBu" Doo-young played the classic Mirana and Bane combo. The two heroes also provided valuable saves for their allies, particularly the Nightmare from Bane that allowed TSM to win a crucial fight later on. Enzo "Timado" Gianoli O'Connor rounded up the draft with the carry Terrorblade.

The early game went in favor of EG, courtesy of their strong laning stage. The team were able to get three kills in the bottom lane, setting up a 3,000 gold advantage at the 10-minute mark.

This was when the advantage of both drafts began to show itself. EG managed to take a net worth lead but couldn’t beat TSM in a teamfight.

TSM, on the other hand, were wary to engage when they knew they were at a net worth disadvantage. The result was a slow-paced farming game with only six kills in the first 15 minutes.

Both teams were content to trade farm, but there was one objective that would decide the game: Roshan.

While EG secured the first Roshan, it was the second Aegis of the Immortal spawn that both teams clashed over.

EG managed a quick kill on Dubu, but it was who TSM ended up winning the clash and claiming the Aegis thanks to SabeRLight’s incredible Ravage and their overall advantage in teamfights.

After winning the first major fight of the game, TSM began to take over the map and slowly grew their net worth advantage.

EG had banked on snowballing in the midgame and didn’t have a backup plan in case they fell behind. It would all come down to Arteezy to carry his team to victory.

But it was a hard game to play as Chaos Knight. TSM’s cores were all naturally tanky and difficult to bring down with physical damage. In addition to their durability, SabeRLight’s Tidehunter could also reduce the physical damage enemies dealt with Anchor Smash, something that Chaos Knight’s illusions had no way to remove.

With Stockholm invites on the line, TSM didn’t feel confident going high ground 30 minutes into the game and decided to wait for the next Aegis to secure their victory. EG also banked on winning a fight in the Rosh pit to come back into the game.

The two teams clashed 40 minutes in and it was an admirable effort from both sides.

Abed managed an incredible Aegis steal while dodging the Tidehunter’s Ravage. The fight looked like it would go in favor of EG but a well-timed Nightmare from Bane kept SabeRLight alive long enough to use his second Ravage and win the fight for TSM.

After securing the third Aegis of the game, TSM were able to roll over EG and claim the first game of the series.

Timado’s Razor comes in clutch in game three

After EG won game two, the series was tied and it all came down to game three. With tickets to the Major on the line, both teams decided to draft similar lineups to game one.

EG kept the Techies pick for Cr1t and gave Dragon Knight to Abed. The team bolstered their pushing potential with the position 5 Pugna for Jerax. Nightfall was in charge of getting vision for the team on the offlane Night Stalker while Arteezy would provide global presence on Nature’s Prophet, an unusual choice for a carry hero.

TSM stuck with the Bane pick for DuBu, who was a major factor in their victory in game one. TSM like to pick cores that can reduce the damage output of the enemy lineup and that’s why they took the Razor for Timado. Mars was also an excellent pick for SabeRLight against the carry Nature's Prophet. TSM took advantage of the fact that EG only had one stun on their draft by taking Ember as their last pick for Bryle.

It was a similar script to game one, with EG drafting strong lanes while TSM had superior teamfight. EG again came out ahead in the laning stage and credit for that goes to Arteezy’s active playstyle.

This time, however, EG learned from their mistakes in game one and kept the pressure up on TSM during the midgame. This paid off for the North American veterans as they amassed a 7,000 gold lead 18 minutes into the game.

TSM’s lineup suffered in the laning stage and had to rely on grouping up to win teamfights. However, once TSM started to stick together, it became nearly impossible for EG to win a 5v5 engagement, as proven 20 minutes into the game.

Dubu’s Bane was again the key factor, as he kept his carry alive with a Nightmare save and followed it up by holding Nightfall in place for Timado to bring him down.

After losing a teamfight despite having a big net worth advantage, EG decided to rely on their pushing power and global presence to force TSM to split up.

It was a valiant effort but TSM reacted perfectly by sticking together, and the result was that EG only got three kills in the last 23 minutes of the game.

Timado on the carry Razor had an excellent performance in game three, securing the most farm on the map while getting 12 kills for his team.

Despite a score of 6-0, TSM are not guaranteed a spot in Stockholm just yet. North America has only two slots in the upcoming Major, and right now it’s still a close race between TSM, EG, and Quincy Crew.

The standings will be decided on 20 April, when TSM take on Quincy Crew and EG faces off against The Cut.

EG are likely to win their match and end the tour with a score of 6-1. If Quincy Crew defeat TSM, there will be three teams in North America with a score of 6-1, forcing tiebreakers in the region.

Team SoloMid roster:

  1. Enzo "Timado" Gianoli O'Connor

  2. Bryle "Bryle" Santos De Guia

  3. Jonáš "SabeRLight-" Volek

  4. David "MoonMeander" Tan Boon Yang

  5. Kim "DuBu" Doo-young

Evil Geniuses roster:

  1. Artour "Arteezy" Babaev

  2. Abed “Abed” Yusop

  3. Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko

  4. Andreas Franck "Cr1t-" Nielsen

  5. Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka

Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.

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